At Casal de São Simão
Varanda do Casal is the restaurant of the village. Refined ambience, attentive service, delicious cuisine, good wine selection and a stunning view turn this place into the best restaurant in the whole neighbourhood.
Do not resist the tiborma cod or chanfana and enjoy these (and other) dishes, while listening soft and well selected music, enjoying an “air view” of Casal that lies at your feet.
If it’s not time for a meal, what about a drink, a small goat cheese with wood oven baked bread or an ice cream on the terrace?
Dona Vitalina: Rua Nova, 65; Tel: 236 622 534 – Lunch only
No advertisements at the front door, just come inside, greet Mrs Vitalina, a white hair good tempered lady, and ask (and see because she’s in the kitchen ) what’s the menu. Home made food, good quality but only two or three plates to choose from (which is enough…). The price includes the main course, bread, a drink (wine, mineral water, beer, juice) and a coffee just before you leave, by a counter, while you pay (5 to 7 euros). No dessert or fruit.
In advance, a special meal, pumpkin soup, a real Portuguese dish made of vegetables and some varieties of sausages and meat can be ordered.
The sooner, the better, because Mrs Vitalina can run out of food. So, go early, starting from 12 o’clock on.
Espeto de Prata: Rua Padre Rosa, 60; Tel: 236 622 960 or 918 762 702 (every day from 10am to 2pm and from 3 to 9pm)
If you want to have your meal at home or make a picnic and don’t want to prepare it, this is your choice. Every day a different meal and always grilled chicken and ribs. Bring always “migas” as a substitute of rice or even chips which is a tipical food made of smashed bread, little bean and very thin slices of cabbage.
At Ribeira de Alge
O Moinho: Tel: 236 622 035
Have lunch, dinner or just a snack in between, at a nice balcony over a running stream 15 meters below.
A good variety of fish (from the river) and meat. Good service, better cooking.
If you feel warm ask for draught green wine.
If you are not going to drive, seal up the meal with a good Old (or even Very Old) Portuguese “aguardente” (brandy).
At Figueiró dos Vinhos
Confeitaria Santa Luzia: Tel: 236 552 129
Not a restaurant, not even a coffee shop; it’s the place where, for sure, the best sponge-cake is made. Open all day and night long, in the centre of the town, just ask anyone where it is. It’s run by the same family for generations who still make the famous sponge-cake, torch drops and sweet chestnuts according to the original and very well kept recipes. It’s a must !
At Foz do Alge
Camping Park: Tel: 236 640 000
Just follow the signs from Figueiró dos Vinhos (about 10 Km).
In the place where Alge stream joins Zêzere river, a really nice and peaceful place, there’s a camping site and, inside of it, a restaurant. Although in it’s beginning, this place deserves a visit and, at least, a snack while you watch the red kites flying around. You won’t regret!
Ti Lena: open every day except in winter (only at week-end); reservation advisable
Tel: 933 832 624.
From Casal de São Simão, is not a short ride, but Talasnal, a Schist Village, is worth a visit.
The road until this paradise is not easy, because the last kilometres, from Lousã, are not asphalted. Anyway, unless it has been raining for the last days, there will be no major problem when driving carefully a “normal” car. Otherwise, 4WD will be fantastic.
Ti Lena is the name of the last inhabitant, still alive, of this abandoned village. This restaurant is part of a dream of the owners, two friends living in different cities during the week, that decided to run this place where customers would feel like at home. The house itself is astonishing and the food unbelievable. Don’t be amazed when checking the watch and realise you’ve stayed for a good couple of hours.
If you want to see some images and are not afraid to read in portuguese read this.
Other recommended places
O Cristo (The Christ – don’t get confused, it’s just a nickname): at the roundabout, on your right, just before Espinhal, on the road to Penela in a place claaed Casais da Cabra. The front door is made out of a cellar, so it’s easy to spot. No menu, just the dish of the day, but good Portuguese food.
O Pastor: on the left side, 500m after the “O Cristo” on the road to Penela. The best cream tarts ever made, for a pause in the morning or at tee time!
And a lot more… The list will be updated frequently so you can trust!